Browns have sights on Titans’ Johnson

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CLEVELAND (AP) - Sooner or later, Chris Johnson will bust through the line, break a tackle, fake a defender out of his cleats and outrun everyone to the end zone.

It’s going to happen.

It’s just a matter of when, not if, Tennessee’s star running back gets loose.

“Let’s hope the time isn’t Sunday,” cracked Cleveland cornerback Sheldon Brown.

The Browns’ (2-1) main objective will be to stop Johnson when the Titans (2-1) visit Sunday looking to shift a running game that has thus far been revving in neutral through the season’s first three weeks.

Johnson, who sat out training camp in a contract dispute, has gained just 98 yards on 46 carries _ a jaw-dropping 2.1 yards per carry.

One of only six players in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season, Johnson isn’t giving the Titans much of a return on the $53 million investment, including $30 million guaranteed, they gave him about a week before the season started.

He’s taken the money.

Now, it’s time to run.

“Everybody on offense has to pick their game up,” Johnson said.

In a win over Denver last week, the Titans lost top wide receiver Kenny Britt to a season-ending knee injury, a major loss for a team searching for its offensive footing.

Britt was averaging 17 yards per catch and had scored three touchdowns, and without him quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has lost one of his most dependable weapons.

To this point, Tennessee hasn’t been able to count on Johnson.

By missing weeks of practice time while waiting to get paid, and because of the lockout, Johnson may not yet be in “football shape.”

The tiny holes he slipped through in the past are currently sealed, and the former track star’s world-class speed isn’t quite at its usual warp levels.

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